By Taylor Morgan
Special to Tidesports

Alabama didn’t get the victory but it wasn’t all bad.

The Crimson Tide gymnastics team opened its first home meet of the year against No. 1 Oklahoma in a top-10 match-up, falling 198.250 to 197.400 at Coleman Coliseum.

But Alabama scored higher against the Sooners than all of last year’s meets.

Coach Dana Duckworth knew the Crimson Tide’s first home meet would be big but was confident in the team.

“There were some amazing moments all night long,” Duckworth said. “The depth was shown by people being able to step in and truly deliver. The energy and momentum was there all night long. We talked a lot about you should have confidence because you are prepared.”

Alabama quickly fell behind to the Sooners after the first event, the vault. The Crimson Tide’s 49.250 score was led by a Lexi Grager with a 9.9. For Oklahoma, vault was one of its strongest events with Maggie Nichols scoring a perfect 10 and Evy Schoepfer a 9.925.

Alabama’s freshmen stepped up for the Tide with Makarri Doggette earning a 9.95 on uneven bars and Luisa Blanco, who has been with the team for only three weeks, scoring a 9.925 on beam. Doggette , who scored higher than a 9.9 on every event she competed in at her first meet in Tuscaloosa, said it was a dream come true to compete in Coleman Coliseum with all the fans supporting her.

“I’ve always dreamed of these moments and for it to finally come true and to have my team by my side just makes it all worth it, and it just makes me love my team more,” Doggette said.

Duckworth said steps will be taken to ensure progress and growth this season and despite coming up short against Oklahoma, the Crimson Tide’s effort was there.

“They are doing it for each other and I love to see that,” Duckworth said.

Alabama will head to the Metroplex Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas, next Saturday and will be joined by three familiar teams – Georgia, Denver, and once again, Oklahoma.

Alabama Scores
Maddie Desch 9.8
Luisa Blanco 9.85
Shea Mahoney 9.85
Ella Burgees 9.85
Lexi Graber 9.9
Shallon Olson 9.775
Uneven bars
Wynter Childers 9.85
Kylie Dickson 9.875
Lexi Graber 9.85
Jensie Givens 9.875
Shea Mahoney 9.875
Makarri Doggette 9.95
Balance beam
Maddie Desch 9.8
Alonza Klopfer 9.875
Ella Burgess 9.85
Makarri Doggette 9.9
Luisa Blanco 9.925
Emily Gaskin 9.85
Floor Exercise
Shea Mahoney 9.825
Griffin James 9.85
Shallon Olson 9.825
Maddie Desch 9.9
Makarri Doggette 9.925
Alonza Klopfer 9.85